Blacktown City Council has officially opened its Warrick Lane precinct in the CBD, with the $80 million public plaza and underground car park open to the public over the weekend.

The opening was commemorated with a traditional Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and Corroboree, as well as live music, entertainment, food stalls, precinct tours and family art workshops.

Blacktown City Council designed and developed the project in conjunction with Cox Architecture. The construction process began with the demolition of a string of dilapidated buildings, malls and laneways situated between Main St and Warrick Lane in the CBD, and finished with the opening on Sunday.

The redeveloped Warrick Lane precinct is now home to a 482-space multi-level underground carpark, 2 tree-lined public parks, 2 flanking buildings, children’s play equipment, street furniture, breakout spaces and a plaza.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale says the precinct is a welcome addition to the Blacktown CBD that will create a new place of leisure for various members of the community.

“The Warrick Lane precinct will rejuvenate this area of our CBD with shops, restaurants and businesses surrounding a peaceful tree-lined park and playground. The park and plaza will become a new meeting place for families, visitors and workers alike,” he says.

“The massive free underground car park will also remove hundreds of cars from the streets in the CBD and also greatly reduce vehicle congestion.”

A world-first feature of the carpark is the use of Darug language and First Nations’ artworks as signposting. The First Nations artwork is the work of Blak Douglas in the carpark. These works have been created by local Aboriginal artist Blak Douglas, that adorn all the levels of the underground carpark. The artist has used images and language of a different animal, native to this area of Dharug Land, to identify each level of the car park, with images of other animals native to this area scattered all around the building.

An additional artwork commissioned by the Council is Light Wing, an 8-metre-high reflective sculpture mounted on the fa├žade of the taller building.

Visitors to the park can get a lesson in Blacktown’s history with plaques inscribed with words and illustrations detailing famous sites and events of the City’s past.

“The Warrick Lane precinct has become a modern and vibrant centre of our City that connects us to our diverse history, culture and heritage and is available for all of us to enjoy,” Bleasdale says.